Weekend Worries – Mick The Mad Irishman
I am sure you have all heard the term Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. Well for me personally this couldn’t have been truer about the players I selected in Friday night’s opener. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who went to bed on either Friday or Saturday night asking myself, “WHY DID I PICK HIM”. But pick them we did, and what we must remind ourselves is that we picked them for a reason. So were our reasons for picking them so far off or were the weekend’s games just a blip on what might otherwise be a great season. Let’s go through the most popular underperforming picks of the weekend and analysis if there is any cause for concern.
What can I say community. I am sure I was called all manner of things over the weekend for my recommendation to pick Dangermouse. I had ideas of grandeur of Paddy running amuck on Friday night, scoring goals, laying tackles, clearance after clearance. What transpired was Dangerfield’s worse SC score since the 7th of August 2011. He had a mere 17 disposals running at just 35% efficiency, had 4 clangers and 2 free kicks against. He coped the first tag as was to be expected and just couldn’t manage to break it all night. If I was just to look at these stats in isolation I would have to be very alarmed and even considering a corrective trade before round 3. However I still think not much has changed with Dangerfield. This is still that same powerful midfield player that has the ability to rank up contested possessions, tear games wide open and kick goals. Friday night was just not his night. He did cop a few heavy knocks early and did leave the field in the second quarter which not too many people actually noticed. There were also suggestions he had a bout of the flu in the lead up to the game. I did write the following about Danger in the preseason and I still stand by it.
“With that element of inefficiency I still expect so see a few scores under 100 in 2013, but far fewer than the 9 in 2012 and on the other side with the expected improvement in key areas I expect to see even more monster scores over 130 and if everything all comes together in the one game don’t be surprised if we gain another member to the 200 point club”
I would have liked to have seen one of those 130+ games first up but Dangerfield will bounce back and this will, in all probability be the lowest score he will get all year. That been the case, it would really be a stupid idea to trade him out in anger, when you’ve already picked up his lowest score and in my option will still average out the season the same as any of the players in his price bracket.
Verdict:If you’ve picked him, stick with him. He’ll pay you back over the season. If you’ve gone in without him, track him over the next few weeks and you may be able to snag him as a first upgrade for a fraction of his starting price.
This selection doesn’t have me worried in the slightest. I ended up selecting Goddard because I went into the season with a “Guns and Rookies” strategy in my backline and Goddard is as safe as they come when picking premium defenders. I think a lot of people went into this season thinking (hoping) Goddard would find his way back to the 130 average he had in 2010. For me that was never going to happen and I will be expecting Goddard to average close to what he averaged last year around 105. Saying this should I not be concerned that he only scored 86 SC points in the opening round?? Well in short, no!
The way I see it Goddard had just a mere 14 disposals at the weekend and still managed to get that many points, showing how devastating he can be when he does get his hands on the ball. He had 13 kicks, just one handball, took 7 marks, kicked a goal and laid 2 tackles. His disposal numbers were his lowest since round 10, 2011, where in that game he scored just 57 SC points. Again don’t be surprised if these are Goddard’s lowest disposal numbers all year. Essendon didn’t recruit this man and pay out all that money for him to be stuck out on a wing all season. I suspect Hirdy and Bomber Thompson will be looking at way to utilise him more as the season progresses. There will be plenty of games where his disposal numbers will be in the high 20’s and these are the games I will be happy he is in my side. Just to remind everybody he did have 9 scores below 100 last season with lows of 58, 67 and 57 and he still managed to average 101.2.
Verdict:No brainer: Keeper for the year and will be easily in the top 6 defenders when round 23 has drawn to a close.
What people must remember here is that Heppell is priced to average 84.1 SC points. He managed to score 73 SC points, which while isn’t ideal isn’t actually a disaster either.
I know a lot of people didn’t actually pick him to score 84 SC points and were looking at him to have a break out year and this is where much of their frustration lies. However before I go any further I would like to point out that two of the biggest breakout stars of last year didn’t actually set the world on fire in their opening rounds last year. In fact Dangerfield started with scores of 93 and 92 and Dayne Beams started with scores of 69 and 67. So don’t think for a minute because he has only scored 73 points first up that you’ve selected a breakout dud.
To be honest I seen a lot to like about Heppell on Friday night. He started the game in the centre and looked really good through the middle. He actually had 10 disposals by quarter time and was looking set to post some big numbers. I am not sure why but for the rest of the game Heppell was brought back across the half backline in what must have been a tactical change made at ¼ time. It didn’t appear he was asked to do a job on anyone in particular but his time in the middle was limited for the remainder of the game. The consequence saw his potential big score fizzle out. However one must think if he was trusted enough to start in the centre for the first bounce up that he will get plenty more time in the midfield as the season goes on and may well be that Breakout that people picked him hoping he would be.
Verdict:If you picked him I have seen nothing in the first outing that suggests that you should be looking at a sideways trade. May take a few rounds before he starts building some breakout scores. If you’ve gone in without him, whack him on the watchlist. I’ve seen enough to still suggest he is breakout material.
Community this is the one player that frustrated me the most, and of all the underperforming popular picks over the weekend the one I am most concerned about. Patrick managed just 4 disposals on Friday night and a very modest 11 hitouts and was never in a position to mark the ball inside 50, never mind kick any goals. This was Patrick’s lowest disposal count since his debut season all the way back in 2006. So why was his output so far down on what he has shown in the last two seasons at least?
Well we should have all known that Bellchambers was going into this season taking the number one ruck role, with Patrick playing more forward and pinch hitting in the ruck. In NAB round 3 he played his new role perfectly leading up the gound, taking 6 marks, finding the pill 21 times and kicking 3 goals and looked like the perfect Ruck/Forward Swing option. On Friday night he looked lost across the half forward line with Essondon preferring to go deep inside 50 looking to hit up Michael Hurley and to a lesser extent Stewart Crameri and Jake Melksham. At no point in the game did Patrick go to the full forward position and in no point in the game was he a target for any of Essendon’s inside 50’s. This was the most alarming statistic I picked up over the entire weekend and one that has my hand very close to the trade button.
Going forward you would think that Ryder is far too good a player to not be utilised more by Essendon. I picked him because I feel he is everywhere as good a key forward as Tom Hawkins and Taylor Walker with the added bonus that he was going to be getting some time in the Ruck to give him some level of consistency over those other Key Forwards. On Friday night’s evidence I may have to rethink this assessment.
Essendon play Melbourne at the MCG in round 2. He has to show me that 20 disposal, 3 goals a game player I picked him for. Anything less and I will be recommending a corrective trade come round 3. Roughead has now been locked into my watchlist and one I will be monitoring over the first two rounds. (Still not sold on him at this stage)
Dean is very unfortunate to make it onto this list. He did after all score 96 SC points. The reason he gets a mention is because a lot of coaches put the VC on him hoping he would bang out a Monster Score taking the sole ruck duty while Naitanui is out of the team. It just didn’t pan out on Saturday night but I do want to stress that Dean Cox is still the best Ruck/Forward option available at the moment. He did win the Ruck contest at the weekend with 36 hitouts to Griffin’s 20. He also had more disposals than Griffin but yet Griffin scored 116 SC points. This has got less to do with Cox and more to do with Fremantle’s midfield who just dominated the clearances winning both Griffins and limiting Cox’s hitouts to advantage. It won’t happen every week that West Coast will lose the midfield battle when they do get up Cox’s scores will increase accordingly.
VerdictNo panic required here. Shouldn’t even be a second thought to trade the big man out.
Averaged 103 SC points last year and was tipped by many to have a break out year where he would take his game to that top level of midfield elites. Saturday night saw Sheuy score just 56 SC points in what was a horrible night for the youngster. Every midfielder in the comp will now shudder when he hears the words “Ryan Crowley”. This man has rightly made a name for himself as the greatest tagger in the game at present. Unfortunately for Sheuy and all those coaches who selected him on Saturday night Crowley managed to put more weight behind that a argument. He kept Luke to just 12 disposals all night.
If you want some sort of positive from any of that is that this is actually an improvement on the last time Crowley tagged him in round 19 last season. On that night Luke managed 11 disposals and just 40 SC points. So in theory there is nothing to say he won’t improve on all his scores in similar fashion, turning his scores of 110 into 120’s in games where he does get off the leash.
The fact is, Sheuy is still more of an outside player than an inside player and I don’t think that is going to change too much this year. In games where West Coast are going to be beaten on the inside like they were against Fremantle, Sheuy’s output is going to suffer. However like I said with Cox above, this isn’t going to happen every week and when West Coast do win the inside battle Sheuy will destroy teams on the outside.
Managed to average 103 SC points last year with scores of 85, 80, 40, 75, 66, and 84. Don’t be foolish and think this round 1 score is going to be indicative of his output for the rest of the year. Is still a very real change to finish the year with an average of 110 SC points. If you’ve picked him, KEEP HIM.
Scot Selwood is very much in the same mould as Luke Sheuy with many of their key indicators the same. Both 22, averaged 25 and 23 disposals respectively in 2012, both averaged 10 contested possessions a game, both run at 75% efficiency and they averaged 104 and 103 SC points respectively.
So without repeating myself too much the same applies to Selwood as has been written about Sheuy above. Last season Selwood scored 82 and 71 SC points in the games against Fremantle so his 81 SC points on the weekend is very much on par with what he has done in the past.
Exactly the same as Shuey, if you’ve picked him, KEEP HIM.
The best round to have a low score is round one. This will mean that this score is only going to be in the players rolling average for one week and will only affect their price in round 3. If they have a low score during the year it will spend three weeks in their rolling average and affect their score over those three weeks. If all these popular picks bounce back in the next couple of weeks they won’t actually drop in value as much as a lot of coaches think they will.
Don’t panic community and hopefully this weekend will provide us with better scores from our popular picks.
Mick the Mad Irishman